Increasing Holiday Home Winter Bookings
Winter does not have to be a barren season for bookings – increasing holiday home winter bookings can be entirely possible. This is especially true since the coronavirus pandemic as many people are discovering the benefits of holidays closer to home. We have compiled here a few pointers to help you keep the guests arriving throughout the winter season.
This is possibly the single most effective change you can make to increase winter bookings. Offering short stays and weekend breaks in your cosy, snug holiday home, when people are working and unable to take long breaks, can certainly increase your chances of more guests.
Update your photographs and website
Photos on holiday home websites and other marketing sites are usually sunny and bright for obvious reasons. Seasonal pictures though, can really help in off-peak times. Not least, they present you as aware and prepared for the real experience you are offering your guests.
It is also a good idea to include images of warm and snug guests with a hot cup of cocoa or roasting marshmallows on an open fire or wood burning stove if you have one.
Winter photography holidays and tours
While we are on the subject of photography, have you ever thought about teaming up with a local photographer to offer photographic courses and tours for enthusiasts? Winter landscapes can be truly stunning and you could offer your holiday home as part of a package.
A lot of local photographers often turn their hand to teaching amateurs. A partnership offering training and accommodation can work really well and is another string to your bow when it comes to attracting more visitors to your home.
There are many ways to make your home pet friendly and this is guaranteed to increase the size of your potential audience. More and more people expect to be able to bring along their beloved animal companions especially for short breaks. See our guide for tips on how to best to achieve a dog-friendly holiday home.
Target your audience
Think about why anyone would visit the area in which your holiday home is situated in the winter. Tailor your publicity to them. If you are not sure, talk to other holiday home owners, local residents, businesses, pubs, restaurants and service providers nearby.
Is the locale particularly good for walking? This is one of the main past times of people who take a break in the winter. Mention this prominently in your publicity for the winter. Provide maps and photos on your home page to encourage guests.
Or perhaps the area holds a venue for adventure or winter sports, or there is one not too far away, bringing the outgoing and sporty into your market. If this is your area, try investigating this in some detail. You can then be a good source of information about travelling to and from your holiday home to the best spots for winter climbing, kayaking, skiing and the like. Consider approaching equipment shops to advertise in your welcome pack.
Think about websites dedicated to the past time that you want to target and see if you can do a deal to feature your property there. This can be a great way to focus in on your target audience and increase your bookings.
Your holiday home could be an ideal location for a romantic break. If you have a spare room that you can turn into a snug cinema room, offer one double and this would suit a couple wanting to hide away for a weekend. If you have a real fire or wood-burning stove, make sure it is featured on your photographs and home page.
Think snug for winter comfort
Think about your décor and soft furnishings. Invest in thick woolly blankets that are good enough to keep guests warm if they sit outside.
Perhaps you can provide outdoor heating and a hot-tub for your guests. A hot tub is known to increase bookings by about a third in most cases. Even though it is not a small investment it can quickly pay that back in bookings.
Finally, think about what else the winter season brings in terms of entertainment and occasion. For those of us who celebrate Christmas and New Year this is a magical time, include at least one image with this theme in your publicity – a New Year fireworks display perhaps? Check if there are special theatrical events or Christmas markets near your holiday home over the winter holidays. Perhaps you can team up with the local theatre, pubs or restaurants to offer a package to your guests including discounted tickets (Panto and a Pint anyone?). Maybe include some mince pies and mulled wine in your welcome pack. Source them locally and you can help the local economy and cement good relations with your neighbours at the same time.
This is a marketing article from My Holiday Home Insurance, a specialist provider of insurance for holiday homes, leisure homes, holiday lodges and static caravans. Our team of experienced advisers are always happy to help, so for more information call our Northampton office on freephone 0800 988 0890.